Social Solidarity Economy: Toward Convergence across Continental Divides
Think pieces for the UNRISD conference “Potential and Limits of Social and Solidarity Economy”. 6-8 May 2013
Emily Kawano, May 2013
Read the complete document on: www.unrisd.org
The Social Solidarity Economy (SSE) is a relatively new framework and as such there is still a wide variation in concepts and definitions between, and even within, different regions. The Réseau intercontinental de promotion de l’économie sociale solidaire (RIPESS)1 is engaged in a process of exploring divergences and convergences surrounding concepts, visions and definitions of SSE across continents. Over the course of the last two years, RIPESS has held discussions with SSE representatives from every continent on this topic. In the course of this process, which will continue through to the next SSE global meeting in Manila in October 2013, we have seen an increasing degree of convergence as we both build a common foundation of understanding and overcome misinterpretations or misunderstandings that may initially have appeared to be differences. Thus the concept of SSE is continuing to evolve through dialogue, practice and theoretical exploration. This think piece aims to clarify the concept of SSE by identifying points of convergence among practitioners and scholars in different regions. It also seeks to promote mutual understanding within the SSE community by illustrating how variations in meaning derive from different political, historic and cultural contexts.
This think piece will draw on insights and documents being developed in the ongoing RIPESS process, as well as those of my colleagues on the RIPESS board. However, unless otherwise specified, the piece represents my own interpretations and opinions.
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